The S.S. Uruguay articles contained herein were published by and for Mooremack Employees Ashore and Afloat.


"Admiral" Spaulding

("The Mooremack News," October 1948)

(Courtesy of Vincent Fiorenza)

 When Captain Albert P. Spaulding, master of the Uruguay, sailed aboard his ship from New York recently, he held two titles that he did not have when he arrived in port.  He sailed as admiral of the fleet of the State of Nebraska and as honorary police commissioner of the City of Pittsburg"Admiral" Spauldingh.  Both honors resulted from friendships made by the captain during the voyage of the Uruguay to Rio de Janeiro to the Rotary International Convention.  Captain Spaulding is shown in the accompanying picture standing before his certificate of appointment to the Nebraskan navy. 

The United States government has honored Captain Spaulding, too.  When the Uruguay was struck by another ship during the war, it was through his efforts that his ship was saved, as well as the lives of the thousands of troops aboard.  For this heroism, Captain Spaulding was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.


SaiIing Day

("The Mooremack News," October 1948)

(Courtesy of Vincent Fiorenza)


Tom Earle, public relations director of Montreal Shipping Co. and editor of their house organ, Montship Staff News, visited our New York office recently.  While he was in town, he made a tour of inspection of the Uruguay just before she sailed and found the sailing so fascinating that he wrote the following for his house organ.  We think it as good a description as we’ve seen in some time.

"You’d heard and read about the pre-war sailings amid laughter, happiness and good times—this was in 1948.  The Uruguay, as the passengers began to come aboard at one-thirty on a hot July day, looked spanking trim at her berth at Pier 32, North River, New York, and as the passengers flocked aboard in two’s and three’s the spirit was catching and before long the crew, from the Captain right down to the hustling baggage porters, had caught it.  At precisely five o’clock and with the ship’s band playing peppy martial music, the gangplanks were released, the mooring lines cast off, and with cheers, waves and laughter the giant thirty-three thousand ton ship cleared the pier.

 "Behind this happy departure, not particularly noticeable to the gay passengers, lay something that could be summed up in one word—organization.  All that day, and for several days before, in fact since the minute the ship had touched the pier on her arrival in New York five days before, hundreds of men had been working in the short turnover period allotted the ship before her departure.Staff Captain John M. Hultman

"The signing up of the new crew, purchasing, checking equipment and supplies, and quick maintenance work are just infinitesimal factors of the work which must be completed in five days.  The Port Steward, Marine Superintendent, Port Pursers, Chief of Operations, Public Relations Director and Port Captain in charge of Labour Relations are constantly on duty.  The Labour Relations Director, in cooperation with the Personnel Department, is kept busy lining up the crew and seeing that all is shipshape with the crew, many of whom have been sailing the Moore-McCormack South American run since its inception October 8th, 1938.

"Down in the ship’s huge galley the Chief Cook was busy supervising the well over fifty men under his charge in the preparation of meals.  The Stewards Department has over two hundred and fifty men under the Chief Steward.  Everything must and does run like clockwork.  The baker, too, must keep busy turning out loaves and rolls.

"It’s getting near five o’clock now.  The ship’s bugler has sounded last warning for visitors to go ashore.  Meanwhile, deep down in the Engine Room, far down in the bowels of the huge vessel, the Engineers hurried about their duties as steam, which had been building tip for several hours, was increased.  The Recreation Director pours over his program.  The yeomen hurry about their duties.  Then the orchestra strikes up and if you notice carefully, you see the passengers are already beginning to make acquaintance with their fellow passengers.

"The ship’s photographer hurries about.  The routine of a ship at sea commences as the last visitor leaves.

"With the sound of 'All ashore that’s going ashore' you leave the ship with the shore staff and with a hope that you, too, can some day be deckside about to begin a thirty-eight day cruise to the beautiful land of South America."


Saga of Peter McKenzie

("The Mooremack News," October 1948)

(Courtesy of Vincent Fiorenza)

Ernie Cerf and Peter McKenzie reminisce.


One of the really grand old men of Moore-McCormack's seagoing personnel is Peter McKenzie, library steward of the S.S. Uruguay.  On a recent visit to port he and Ernie Cerf, port purser, who worked together on the Uruguay throughout the war years, got reminiscing over a photograph taken of the ship during her wartime career, and our photographer just could not pass up the picture, as is evident on this page.  The photograph, showing the ship in battleship grey, with hundreds of troops aboard, is a prize possession of his.

Mr. McKenzie was born in Glasgow 67 years ago and went to sea in 1929 aboard the Uruguay when she was the S.S. California.  During the war he missed only two trips, when he suffered a physical collapse.

"They examined me and couldn't find anything wrong," he said recently, "so back I went and here I am, fit as a fiddle."

A good share of Peter’s happiness and success in his present job is due to the fact that he can imagine no other work half so congenial.  He is a book lover, and tends his collection in the Thomas Locke Memorial Library aboard ship as if the books were his children.  He knows the war record of the ship, too, in every detail and can quote month and day of her various achievements.

Before the sailing of the Uruguay, in early September, Ray Chanaud, company photographer, surprised Peter with an enlargement of the Uruguay’s wartime photograph, adding a valued item to his gallery, and a lasting memento of his splendid maritime career.


Valuable Cargo

("The Mooremack News," December 1949)

(Courtesy of Vincent Fiorenza)


A precious piece of cargo which arrived recently aboard the S.S. Uruguay in the port of Santos en route to São Paulo, attracted wide attention in the South American art world. The cargo in question was a painting by the French artist Paul Cezanne of his wife, a cherished possession to all who appreciate the rare genius of the painter.

The arrival of the painting at Santos attracted many of the leaders of Brasilian art to a ceremony held aboard the ship at which Dr. Assis Chateaubriand, Brasilian newspaper owner and patron of the arts, bespoke the pleasure of his country in having received the work.Dr. Assis Chateaubriand, famous Brasilian publisher, welcomes the arrival of the famous Cezanne painting at the port of Santos while Captain Pierce of the S.S. Uruguay and Mr. Larsson look on.

Captain Arthur W. Pierce, the acting master of the S.S. Uruguay and Edwin Lange Larsson, manager of the São Paulo office of Moore-McCormack Lines, represented the company at the ceremony.

Dr. Chateaubriand’s address, a masterpiece of oratory, concluded as follows:

"Many thanks to the good gentlemen of Moore-McCormack for the golden cargo which at this moment is being discharged at the port of Santos. Wonderful cargoes as this one can lead a shipping company to glory. And the glory which we speak of is nor one which drags us to the bottom of the sea but the one which lifts us up to the clouds and the sky. It is with pride that we receive, protected by the pennant of this giant of the seas, the S.S. Uruguay of Moore-McCormack Lines, this other Leviathan of light, color and ether, which was Paul Cezanne."




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